We often hear that “rum is too sweet,” and that just isn’t true. There’s definitely some sweet rum out there, but the best rums are dry and super aromatic. There are plenty of fine varieties that you can sip neat from a rocks glass while you do a crossword or shout at the neighbor kids across the street. Now that we’ve convinced you to start hoarding rum like a pirate, we’re going to show you how to make some of our all-time favorite rum cocktails.
The Frozen Daiquiri
Frozen Daiquiris don’t get the respect they deserve. Here’s how to make a proper one, and restore your faith in frozen drinks.
A proper Mojito is a time-consuming drink. But it’s entirely worth it if you’re looking for a cocktail that’s equal parts refreshing, complex, sweet, and fizzy - with just a touch of mint that’ll remind you of the last time you buried your face in a pile of fresh-cut grass. A Mojito is, in short, a perfect summer cocktail, and you don’t even need a shaker or a mixing glass. You do, however, need a can-do attitude.
How It Tastes: Crisp, Tart, Like A Summer Garden Watered With Rum
The Mai Tai
“A Mai Tai is an old-school tiki drink that requires neither blender nor coconut, and it’s probably a lot simpler than you think. If you’re looking for something to hold in your right hand all summer, this is it. And all you need is four ingredients. And maybe a Hawaiian shirt.”
How It Tastes: Crisp, Fruity, Tropical
The Piña Colada
“Our piña colada includes one key step you should know about now: you’re going to need to freeze your ingredients ahead of time. Once you’ve done that, in about three hours you’ll have a drink in your hand that will make you feel like you’re laying in the sun on the deck of a cruise ship called The Helen Mirren.”
“By now, you’ve had ample opportunities to drink daiquiris. We know this, because there’s a handwritten daiquiri recipe that dates to the late-nineteenth century. (The author was a mining engineer in Cuba, and, allegedly, the inventor of this drink.) If, somehow, you’ve fallen behind on your daiquiri consumption, here’s how to make one. Drinks do not get more refreshing.”
How It Tastes: Crisp, Clean, Refreshing
The Strawberry Basil Daiquiri
If this drink sounds delicious, that’s because it is, and if you think it’ll be too hard for you to make, you need to boost your self-esteem. This eight-syllable cocktail is easy to make, and the only time-consuming part of this drink is the strawberry syrup which takes around 30 minutes.
How It Tastes: Slightly Sweet, Complex, Like It Should Cost $20
Drink If You Like: Daiquiris, Sorbet, A Little Bit Of Basil On Your Pizza
The name “Airmail” sounds kind of old-timey now, but it’s important to remember that this cocktail was invented around 1941, when sending letters via a giant mechanical bird was still a novel concept. But, unlike air travel and the postal service, this sparkling rum drink is still pretty exciting. It’s great for when you want to assure someone that you have immaculate taste in cocktails and also know something about the year 1941, and you can even adapt the recipe to make a big punch bowl.
How It Tastes: Strong, Fizzy, Luxurious
The Jungle Bird
The Jungle Bird is sort of like Squidward from Spongebob or Marvin Gaye’s 1978 album Here, My Dear - it’s dark and kind of bitter, but also surprisingly sweet. On the one hand, you have the bright, tropical notes of pineapple juice, but then you also have the dark, molasses-y rum and assertive Campari. It’s an interesting drink, and an increasingly popular one.
How It Tastes: Bitter, Juicy, Tropical
A Painkiller is one of our favorite drinks, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. You’ll want to drink this on a summer day when the sun is trying to nudge you in the direction of a refreshing alcoholic beverage, and it tastes just as good in a dark corner of your apartment.
How It Tastes: Smooth, Tropical, Refreshing
The Rum Punch
You’ve probably seen a Rum Punch on a lot of menus, and maybe you’ve wondered what exactly it was. The answer is: a bunch of different stuff. This drink is pretty much a grab bag of various juices (and rum), and it’s perfect for when you want to quickly pour some stuff in a glass and stretch out like a cat.
The Rum Old Fashioned
This rum Old Fashioned is pretty much identical to a whiskey Old Fashioned - but unlike a whiskey Old Fashioned, it feels right for summer. There’s just something about the bright sugarcane notes of rum that make you want to drink it in the sunshine.
How It Tastes: Juicy, Tropical, Like A Beach Day
The Dark & Stormy
A Dark & Stormy sounds dramatic and mysterious, but it’s really just a somewhat fancy highball. It requires exactly three ingredients, you don’t have to shake or stir any of them, and if you have decent hand-eye coordination, you can put this cocktail together in about 30 seconds.
The Queens Park Swizzle
This cocktail was invented at a Trinidadian hotel in the early 20th century, and it’s essentially a richer and more complex Mojito. You don’t have to shake it - but you do need to swizzle. This might sound like a dance that was invented in the 1950s in order to get teenagers to buy more records, but it is, in fact, a way of stirring your drink.
The Perfect Daiquiri
Our first-ever guest bartender Andra Johnson (or AJ for short) brought us a signature cocktail that she refers to as the Perfect Daiquiri - but what exactly does that mean? Is it hyperbole? Is it just a cute name? Not at all. AJ’s Daiquiri is “perfect,” because it takes the elements of your typical Daiquiri, and tweaks them for added flavor and complexity - which brings a new level of balance to the drink.
Much like every other Negroni, a Cold Brew Negroni is a relatively simple cocktail that you can easily stir together while spacing out in your kitchen, but unlike a classic Negroni, this cocktail doesn’t have gin. Instead, there’s cold brew and rum - a combination that works just as well after dinner as it does at 11am on a Saturday.
There are a bunch of sugary rum cocktails out there marketed to tourists and students who don’t yet understand the mechanics of a hangover. The Caribeño is not one of them. This drink is just rum, coconut water, and lime juice (with a touch of simple syrup), and it’s one of the cocktails that come to mind when Guest Bartender Marc Farrell thinks about “how somebody drinks rum or experiences rum in the Caribbean.”
The Blue Hawaii is a pretty standard sweet/sour cocktail that shares a lot of characteristics with something like a Margarita. It’s objectively delicious when made correctly, and we’d also like to stress the fact that drinking a blue drink is a rewarding and exhilarating experience on par with parasailing or leaving your home for the first time in several days.